Jinfo BlogMore with less in 2011

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By Tim Buckley Owen

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2010 has come and gone and we’re now well into the 2011 prediction season. Video, fee vs free, offshoring and the decline of professional bodies all feature in the predictive mix. Social networking will become increasingly embedded everywhere, the pundits predict, and mobile media will continue to grow in importance. But Shore Communications’ indefatigable Content Blogger John Blossom goes further – seeing 2011 as the year of ‘changing channels’, with content producers and technology companies needing to be able to shift to whatever device or context audiences require. Prototypical stabs at integrating text, graphics, audio and video will grow in power in 2011, Blossom predicts, with improved semantic organisation increasingly allowing multimedia to be rendered as discoverable content (http://digbig.com/5bddkr). And according to a recent Forbes Insight report, we’re already starting to see the pay-off in the C-suite. Video is becoming a critical information source for senior executives, the survey Video in the C-Suite finds. Respondents like information in a mix of text and video, look to different outlets for different types of video – and over 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video (http://digbig.com/5bddks – registration required). With technological trends such as these, the message from Outsell’s Leigh Watson Healy is uncompromising: ‘Expect to pay’. In her Top 10 Information Management Predictions for 2011, she makes clear that vendors can’t absorb all these development costs and still continue to deliver and innovate (http://digbig.com/5bddkt). Not that vendors will necessarily get an easy ride, Outsell says. Expecting only 2% aggregate growth this year, its Information Industry Outlook 2011 (http://digbig.com/5bddkw – registration required) forecasts that it will be 2013 before the industry sees anything like the results of the last good year, 2008 – and meanwhile trends towards direct access to free government data will continue (see http://www.vivavip.com/go/e31772 or http://www.vivavip.com/go/e31779 for LiveWire coverage on this). Nevertheless, there are signs that paying for information is becoming more mainstream. Research from the United States based Pew Internet shows that 65% of online users have paid for content – mainly music or software, although 18% have bought articles or reports and 16% videos (http://digbig.com/5bddkx). For information managers wrestling with how to move routine procedures to cheaper locations, outsourcing remains a live issue for 2011. Eight new countries have moved into Gartner’s Top 30 Countries for Offshore Services in 2010-11 – all emerging nations, ousting the final seven developed countries to feature in the list (http://digbig.com/5bddky). And lastly, it’s likely to be a tough year for professional bodies. Citing a string of organisations facing declining membership and loss of sponsorship and advertising, Outsell’s Leigh Watson Healy foresees the reinvention of professional engagement via grassroots peer-to-peer interaction – and the rise of niche bodies that stay light on governance costs.

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